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What makes it an antique?

I was doing some research this weekend and came across a cream-colored ceramic bean pot with blue sponge ware accents and the title Beautiful Antique China Bowl with Blue Design. What? Antique? This item has the word China embossed on the bottom and looks more like an item that you purchased from a department store in the 1980s than an antique china bowl. This made me wonder what really is the definition of an antique.

I was taught that the term antique can be used if an item is 100 years old or more. I did some research and found that The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States 9706.00.000 states “Antiques of an age exceeding one hundred years”. Okay, so 100 years or more is an antique. Or is it?

Not all dealers use this timeframe to date their items, some calling anything over 80 years old an antique. Then there are those who use the United States Tariff Act of 1930’s definition that stated an item was to be considered an antique if made before 1830.

The state I live in, Nevada, has statute NRS 647.012 “Antique” defined. “Antique” means a unique object of personal property that is not less than 60 years old and has special value primarily because of its age. That means that items made prior to 1957 are antique. Wow!

Do you think that my Funk and Wagnall’s dictionary is correct with the definitions of “Old-fashioned; out-of-date” and “Any old object, usu. One prized for its rarity, style or craft, etc.”? Now I’m really confused. Any old object or one that is out-of-date?

I think that to be safe I’ll no longer be selling “antiques”, just previously owned items that are old-fashioned and out-of-date. Hey, isn’t that the definition of a garage sale?

What do you think of when you hear the word antique?

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